Blog Posts

Digital Literacy – An Overview

While watching the recorded zoom conversation between my past and current professors, I expanded my knowledge of the digital media literacy realm and learned many new things. 

Thumbnail of Zoom Discussion

News Co/Lab Q&A 09.22.22

News Co/Lab:

The News Co/Lab mission statement is to advance media literacy in a few key ways by working with stakeholders in the journalism industry, providing education, and working in the technology industry. The News Co/Lab wants to help people engage with and consume media in better ways.

Prof. Kristy Roschke

News Co/Lab Projects

  • They focus on transparency and education.
  • MOOC media – Massive Open Online Course which is based off of the book Prof. Dan Gillmor wrote entitled Mediactive
  • DARPA –  Fighting disinformation which has to do with automated detection of misinformation and lots of research.
  • Filling the gap by providing online students the opportunity to intern and work for News Co/Lab.

New Journalistic Principles

The News Co/Lab asks questions like, “How can you heal the journalistic process in underserved communities?” They answer these by creating and addressing journalistic principles. Using the trust indicators to help people address trust issues online. Typically, journalism that comes from within a community is seen as more credible. The News Co/Lab is trying to acquire community members in untypical ways not just through an interview or email. They are also addressing how we can build relationships in our community from start to finish. 

The Correction Tool

How it works:

Journalists find out that there is a story that has a major correction, and then does a search for the URL of that story. The correction tool then goes to twitter and reddit and finds who shared that story already. The correction tool then ranks the sharers by number of followers or number of retweets. (It doesn’t worry about posts that have only a few followers). The corrections tool lets that person know that there has been a correction and creates a follow up page. Reddit is a little different because they have upvotes and downvotes, but the goal is to get people with large followers to share the update. In theory, this should help reduce the amount of misinformation around the world. 

Overall goal: Spread more credible news faster. 

Correction Research: 

A corrected story travels far less than the original story which is a huge problem.

Prof. Kristy Roschke

Additionally, a correction tool is used more as a defense. It’s a software project that helps people see credible and corrected news via social networks. This tool resulted from the problem that journalists were correcting things that are wrong or updating things that are incomplete, but that didn’t help the people who didn’t see the correction. Those people still believed the uncorrected version.

It was developed to help correct information that has already gone out, and correct the information which people have already shared.

Voice Listening Project

Partnering with Wick Communications on the Voices Listening Project which focuses on making sure local news is covering the type of information the community wants, this project creates “products” such as new discussions on websites or new features. In addition, it also looks into what people expect from local news. This project helps develop products that engineer trust in the local news. 


Even though I have my own TikTok, one of the students brought up the TikTok Algorithm and pointed out that it always shows you the part 2 of a video you watched on your feed, after you already saw the part 1. I will definitely be looking out for this as I scroll on the app in the future. Prof. Kristy Roschke pointed out that TikTok is adapting and engaging towards the user habits in which the algorithm was made for and the affordance that happens behind the scenes.

Another student asked, how do you approach framing issues specifically with partisan issues and pink slime? 

One thing that was established was that the application of academic research is very difficult. Online users often do not use the term misinformation correctly. When some people are talking about “misinformation,” they aren’t actually talking about true misinformation. Instead, they are referencing the different point of views, mistextulization, misconceptions, or otherwise factual information that they deem to be misinformation. The News Co/Lab is trying to figure out how to articulate this issue better. 

Many times the misinformation blame is placed on the user and most of the time this is wrong. Often times, we rely on local and small news organizations to do the good journalist work instead of a large news outlet. When in reality, these small networks do not have the funds or manpower to eradicate the legacy of misinformation by themselves. 

There are many misconceptions about what journalism should be in our society. Today, any hint of bias creates skepticism in users, and that should not be the case. People want unbiased forms of news, but that doesn’t exist. 

Future Potential Student Opportunity

Prof. Kristy Roschke had the wonderful idea that involves news on wikipedia. Students could write wiki pages about local news organizations. Sadly, many online consumers believe that if a local news organization doesn’t have a wiki page, it’s less credible. This is not true. Typically, small local news organizations don’t have the resources to make their own wikipedia page. Giving the students the opportunity to write for the news organizations could change that. 

Why do we have the Digital Audience degree program?

The real need is that in all industries people in communications see both the producer side and the consumer side of communicating. This degree helps understand what both sides face. It helps answer the question, how creators and consumers are intertwined. 

A challenge for the road

Prof. Dan Gillmor left us with this challenge at the end of the zoom lecture, and I challenge you to do the same.

CHALLENGE: In our personal community, we need to be the person the community can turn to and be an advocate for good information. We need to help improve the ecosystem. 

Hope you enjoyed this overview of the lecture as much as I enjoyed listening to the lecture myself.